Day 1 of the Human Shark Island Challenge was a raging success with the round of 32 producing some great highlights. Sydney produced a near perfect winters day with offshore winds and clean 4 - 5 footers for the first round of the main event.

Heat number one featured the current ratings leader Uri Valadao (Brazil), former world champion and winner of this event Guilherme Tamega (Brazil) Chris Wilson (AUS) and Airam Cabrera (Canary Islands).

Valadao got off to an early lead and Cabrera was right on his tail. Chris Wilson was surfing amazing but couldn’t land the big moves. In the last 10 minutes Tamega showed his competitive experience with two big bombs that took him to the lead. Cabrera finished a close second with Uri Valadao left searching for a good second wave. Wilson finished fourth.

In heat two Mark McCarthy (Sth Africa) set a great standard with a flawless performance including two vaulting back flips that had the crowd cheering. Second place went to Jonathan Vega from Canary Islands who looked at home with lots of tube time and some highflying ARS’s.

Jeff Hubbard (HAWAII)was also in great form but fell short and finished third with Brad Hughes (AUS) in fourth. Heat three saw the ocean back off and a lack of sets put pressure on all four competitors. Oliver Herrera (Canary Islands) found the best waves and took first ahead of Amaury Laverhne (Reunion Island) with Aussies Chris James and Michael Chapple in third & fourth respectively.

Heat four saw Ryan Hardy go to work nice and early with high speed critical surfing at it’s best. After a break from competition Hardy looked fired up and set the pace from the get go. Pierre Luis Costes (FRA) surfed consistently well to secure second with Wes Fischer (Sth Africa) and Dave Hubbard (HAWAII) relegated to third & fourth with a series of long but incomplete barrels.

Local knowledge paid off for John Showell (AUS) when he used his home turf advantage to it’s fullest in heat 5 with great combinations that filled the criteria perfectly. Second place went to Max Arent (AUS) who came flying out of one of the best tubes of the day to push wildcard Garth McGregor (AUS) into third. McGregor started with and 8 point ride but could not find a second strong score with Brazilian Luis Villar struggling into fourth.

Mitch Rawlins (AUS) and Mike Stewart (HAWAII) dominated heat six. Both of these riders left the smaller waves to Chad Jackson (AUS) and Hugo Pinheiro (PORT) and that’s how it finished.Rawlins and Stewart into the quarters. Jackson and Pinheiro to the sideline.

The second last heat of the day saw local wildcard Christian Ricco (AUS) comfortably win his heat with a succession of deep tube rides. It was just another day at the office for the shark island local with current World Champion Ben Player doing enough to finish second. Paulo Barcellos (BRZ) and Charlie Chaplet (FRA) struggled with positioning on take off and were eliminated.

Heat eight was a great way to finish with top 16 rider Dallas Singer combining speed and power on the bigger waves to dominate ahead of Magno Oliveira (BRZ). Magno was technically perfect on the smaller sets and he pushed Jones Russell (AUS) into third ahead of Ben Gohl (AUS) who picked up the only interference of the day.

Source: IBA World Tour